Gluten in Cosmetics, Cleansers, and Toothpaste?? Oh My!!

My apologies for taking so long to post on here. I've been preoccupied with new things in my life and hadn't thought of much worth posting...until now.

I've mentioned before that I am definitely gluten intolerant and about 95% sure I have Celiac disease. The smallest amount of gluten will cause my body to react, sometimes in random ways. I discovered that even make-up, shampoo, and soap will cause my skin to react, usually by breaking out.

For several months now I've been concerned that I was cursed with adult acne. It wasn't too terrible, but it was enough to make me feel ugly. My self-esteem kept dropping. Nothing helped. I eventually began researching the products I was currently using and was shocked with what I found. Several cosmetic companies don't list the ingredients they use and/or can't confirm their ingredients are completely free of gluten. In high school, I was a Cover Girl and Clinique fan. However, CG won't disclose what ingredients they use since they are a "competitive brand," and Clinique derives several of their ingredients from gluten-containing products. I emailed Clinique about ingredients used in their Even Better foundation only to find out one of the ingredients is derived from barley. Bare Minerals is naturally gluten free, but I seemed to go through the foundation so fast and couldn't afford to keep purchasing it. Finally, I discovered that Neutrogena has several gluten free products in their cosmetic line. After months of trial and error with several brands, I'm sticking to Neutrogena's Healthy Skin liquid foundation and powder. Since using both, my skin has healed and evened out in tone. 

Now...on to face wash...

This was a big issue for me. I thought maybe I just had sensitive skin and began using Cetaphil. Unfortunately, this was actually too mild and didn't cleanse well enough. Pond's Cold Cream used to be my go-to cleanser since it removed make-up, cleansed pores, and softened skin, but it seemed that my face would still break out. I thought there could be no way it could be that, but a little research informed me that Pond's derives many of it's ingredients from gluten. ::Sigh:: Time to find something else. At this point, I was fed up and desperately needed something. I mean, I looked like a hormonal high schooler. That's what I thought at least. My boyfriend mentioned Proactiv, which states in it's FAQ section that all products are gluten free. After a little while of getting used to the drying effects of the benzoyl peroxide, I was thankful I finally found something that works. 

My research continued to cover body wash, shampoo, and toothpaste. I found out that most, if not all, Dove products are gluten free. I now use Dove Go Fresh body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. They are wonderful products that are mild with a variety of scents. Gluten in toothpaste was something I never thought would be an issue, but it is for some people. I read that Crest and Colgate are up in the air about which products contain gluten, but I didn't want to take any chances. Tom's and Aquafresh are gluten free, so I switched to Aquafresh. I've had no issues since.

This is just a summary of some brands I researched, but I investigated several other brands. E.L.F. Cosmetics was prompt in responding to my inquiry, but indicated that none of their products could be guaranteed gluten free. I loved their eye make-up, but gave that up after dealing with extremely dry eyes. Estee Lauder is also confusing as they don't guarantee any products to be gluten free. My general rule is if it can't be guaranteed gluten free, I don't trust it. 

Many of you will never have to deal with sensitivities this extreme, but there are some that may. I never  thought my cosmetics, cleansers, and toothpaste would cause issues. It's actually quite ridiculous to have to be this strict. It's taken a while for food companies to warm up to the idea of labeling products as gluten free, so I don't foresee cosmetic companies doing the same for a long time. I hope this helps anyone who may be dealing with the same issue. Please feel free to comment below or email me if you have feedback, questions, or a similar story. I'd love to hear from fellow gluten-freers, and I'll try not to take so long to post again. :)  


  1. Thank you thank you thank you, I too look like a 41 year old hitting puberty and have resulting in trying dapsone. dapsone is a prescription and very strong. I was leary about it because it treats other severe skin symptoms. however, I am at my wits end with being ate up with the uglies. I used to be pretty and I am constantly battling bulge and break outs. i woke this morning wandering about my breakout always being near my mouth and chin, so I was looking for toothpaste ingredients. Your sight was helpful, and reminded me of myself a lot. Keep up the good works


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